Mobile phones have changed horror films. While the Scream series used them in new and frightening ways, for most others they present a big problem - being chased by a psychotic murderer is less scary if you can just pull out your iPhone and dial 999.
New Hammer horror The Resident has a brilliant and unique way of getting round this problem: It is CLEARLY STATED in the first 10 minutes that mobile phones don't work in the block of flats where the film is set. PROBLEM SOLVED.
Anyway - imagine you had a stalker - and NOW imagine if that stalker lived in your house!
That's exactly what happens to poor Juliet (Hilary Swank)
Here's what we know about Juliet:
1) she likes jogging and taking baths (toned and likely to take her clothes off often)
2) she's an E.R. doctor (she may like taking her clothes off, but she's intelligent and important too)
But which of Juliet's two new landlords do you think is the crazy stalker obsessed with her?
Could it be the strange lonely old August, peering through th door cracks with his spooky eyes, OR is it his grandson Max, who has a lovely beard and a nice smile?
For people who've never watched Scooby Doo / or have a brain, the revelation that is is, in fact, the seemingly charming Max, may have been an exciting development - for everyone else, it's utterly boring. (August dies quietly a few minutes after this 'twist' and, having served his purpose, is never mentioned again.)
Jeffery Dean Morgan plays Max - a sort of sexier but slightly less mad Dave Lee Travis - who's psychotic tendancies are never satisfactorily explained. All we know about himm is this:
1) he likes drinking wine and hiding in cupboards (cultured but a bit evil)
2) he's good at DIY (useful for putting two-way mirrors into your tenants' flats)
His stalking kicks off quite innocently with a quick visit to Juliet's flat to brush his teeth her electric toothbrush, his face contorting with ecstacy as he works those back molars. Then, it's time to pop fully clothed into the empty bath and pleasure himself. However, his obsession with Juliet quickly esculates into hiding under her bed and licking her fingers while she's taking a nap.
When Juliet finds out, they have a big fight and she shoots Max in the brain.
If only her mobile had worked then she could have just called the police and had him arrested instead of brutally murdering him with a nail gun.
Still, he did love DIY so I'm sure that's the way he would have wanted to go.
The Resident is perhaps the most unorginial, linear film I have ever seen. With no surprises and no scares, it commits the ultimate sin for any horror film - it's dull.